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“An industrial commitment with the Region like ours takes its time and we have now a strong industrial model”

“An industrial commitment with the Region like ours takes its time and we have now a strong industrial model”

Mr. Rafael Contreras, founder and President of Carbures gave an interview to Diario de Cadiz, where he explains the history and development of one of the most acclaimed companies in the Andalusian region.

Carbures was born out of a research group of the University of Cadiz, promoted by Prof. Manolo Galan, a PhD professor who wanted to demonstrate that it was possible to transfer technology and create wealth in the region. Mr. Contreras explains how they started this project from scratch through a financing model of “friends, family and fools” until some venture capital firms such as Invercaria and Univen took some stakes

In their initial stage, the company already had a well-known client such as Airbus Military, which led to the Company´s IPO and its subsequent internationalization. Rafael Contreras argues this was the result of the lack of international presence and the limited capacity of the Spanish market, which made necessary to be present in more market than the Madrid one. Going abroad was a must and, if we had Airbus in Europe, we would have to look for Boeing in America”.

The manufacturing process of aeronautical and automotive parts of carbon fiber that reduce weight, and therefore fuel costs and CO2 emissions, is a very attractive industrial trend that made the company grow exponentially. "We reached an excessive value. Our stock was valued at 1.07 euros in the IPO and reached 40 euros later "says Rafael Contreras.

Our President told Diario de Cádiz that during the outbreak of the first crisis in Carbures, "a partner, who had later an important responsibility in everything that happened to us, asked me to resign so he could get the control of the company. I thought about leaving, but I felt responsible for a thousand families that cannot be compared to a quick money market. One thousand workers and the small shareholders have grouped and currently own 18.15% of the Company".

Once the stability was restored in the company, Catalan shareholders owning a 13% of the Company and led by, Tarragó, former CEO of Carbures, rebelled against Black Toro, a mainly US fund, in the last General Shareholders' Meeting,. However, small shareholders did not support them. In this regard, Contreras said: "They cannot have the same representation as those who have 49% of the company. You cannot pretend to control a company without investing in it. Black Toro has reduced the debt in 55 million, provides stability and a guarantee of future".

Regarding Carbures earnings and its dependence on Airbus, Contreras emphasizes: "An industrial commitment with the Region like ours takes its time. Now we start to see the results, with a positive EBITDA at the end of the first semester. Now we have a solid industrial model. We make pieces and we have clients that are already starting to generate money. If someone wants to get quick money, go somewhere else. "Regarding the dependence on Airbus, he added: "We depend on the sectors in which we are present, mainly aeronautics and automotive. The industrial trend towards efficiency and pollution reduction is increasing and is already fully implemented in aeronautics and now it is the Mobility’s turn.


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